Life: Left of Centre

5 Predictions for 2013

Posted on: January 6, 2013

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So, a new year, a new start – for all of us. A chance to look back at 2012, with all its great moments and those we’d prefer to forget. Like any other year really. But it’s also an opportunity to look forward. Whether it be New Year resolutions or just learning from our mistakes, we all look to the New Year with a sense of optimism.

It’s with that optimism, and a firm sense of fun, that I present to you 5 predictions from across the worlds of politics, the arts, travel and sport – the original topics of this blog. Enjoy!

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Politics – A Referendum on EU Membership

It’s been a year of “will he, won’t he” for David Cameron in 2012. He’s been under pressure from the right – in the form of his own party and UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) and pressure to at least re-negotiate the terms in which the UK is a member of the European Union.

On the other side of the coin, both the Labour Party and the EU Parliament itself have both challenged the UK Government to “put up or shut up” on the issue – even going as far as to suggest a ‘second tier’ of EU membership that the UK might like to adopt, but which would mean a reduced number of opt-outs and say in EU policy-making.

Could this lead the Prime Minister to call a referendum on the issue, to both silence critics and garner public support on the issue – while risking an economically damaging exit? I think it might.

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The Arts – My Fair Lady tour

Following the success of Cameron’s Mackintosh’s 8-year production, that ended 5 year ago, there have been precious little performances of this (based-on) Bernard-Shaw classic to shout about in the UK.

Whether you like musicals or not, this is a classic, with something for everyone – memorable songs (including ‘Wouldn’t It Be Lovely’, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ and ‘On The Street Where You Live’ – to name a few), classic performances (from Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn, to Rex Harrison and Ian Richardson) and a ‘rags to riches’ storyline with love stories interspersed throughout the piece.

The frankly unexpected and impressive success of the latest production – currently showing at the famous Crucible theatre, Sheffield, starring Dominic West as Henry Higgins and Carla Bawden as Eliza Doolittle – is the latest incarnation and it’s one I’m expecting to form the basis of a tour later this year.

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Travel – Michael Palin in Asia

The great comedian, writer and traveller returned last year with his new series – ‘Brazil’. No need to go into more detail there then – but suffice to say that his latest instalment of travel anthologies that bring together a dry wit, keen eye for people and culture (told through their own eyes) and stunning visuals did not disappoint.

With Brazil hosting both the Football World Cup and Olympics in 2014 and 2016 respectively, a look under the skin of this South American superstar was no surprise. But I’m betting on a return for Michael on the road – this time back in Asia… I don’t think China would be a bad bet!

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Sport – New Snooker World Champion Judd Trump and FA Cup Winners Liverpool crowned on May Bank Holiday

One of the topics I’ve barely made mention of in this blog is sport. With a plethora of great moments over the last 12 months: whether it be the injury time finish to last season’s Premier League football, Andy Murray’s US Open tennis win or Britain’s 65 medals at the Olympics – it’s very much worth mentioning one of the biggest sporting weekends of the year – May Bank Holiday.

On that weekend two major sporting events will be decided: the FA Cup football final and the World Championship Snooker final. Two very different sports, but both requiring high levels of skill, concentration and experience to succeed at. On the former, with a range of teams vying for trophies, any one of the major Premier League teams could walk away with the trophy, but with a recent upturn in form and an imperious record in the competition I’m back Liverpool FC to come away winners, having been runners-up last year.

In the biggest snooker match of the season, the famous old World Championship Trophy will be handed out after a two-day final. Last year’s winner, Ronnie O’Sullivan (now 4-time world champion) – the most naturally talented player ever to pick up a cue, is currently on a sabbatical from the sport, and will likely not return to defend his title. That leaves the new kid on the block, 23 year-old Judd Trump, his likely successor as long-term World No. 1 and an almost equally gifted player, as favourite. With one final appearance to his name, and a string of tournament wins over the past few seasons, he holds the tag of favouritism and one I expect him to convert into the title.

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This Blog – more posts, more often

This last one’s easy! As the New Year begins I intend to use this blog much more, with a great first year behind me. More posts on the full range of topics, and a regular posting period. I look forward to sharing it with you!

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